Bill Trikos Australia most spectacular NBA slam dunk contests of all time: After Zach LaVine brought life back to the dunk contest in 2015, a year later, the fans were in for a treat to see arguably the most epic dunk contest in history. In a tight contest that saw LaVine and Aaron Gordon pull off the most impossible dunks, people could argue that both LaVine and Gordon deserved to be co-winners of the event. However, despite Gordon jumping over a mascot for an under-the-legs dunk, it was LaVine’s windmill free throw slam dunk that made him a winner of the contest. Read more details about the author on Bill Trikos.
It was close with the 2000 edition but the 2016 Slam Dunk Contest has to be considered the best dunk contest of all-time. Often known as the day Aaron Gordon got robbed, it gave us two of the best dunkers in modern history and some of the top dunks in NBA history. Aaron Gordon, a 6’8”, 208-pound specimen proved to have unmatched athleticism with some of the most twisted, complicated, and spectacular dunks of all time. He had multiple perfect scores and would’ve beaten every contestant in history, except from 2016 Zach LaVine.
I got the idea: 360 windmill. It was spur of the moment. I hadn’t really considered doing that one because, weeks before when I was trying it, I was barely making it. When I incorporated the 360, particularly the first couple of times I tried, I kept falling away from the basket. I wasn’t getting enough height. That’s why I scrapped it initially. Nobody watching in the building or on TV could tell. All anyone could see was the birth of a dunking legend. Carter would go on to cement his slamming legacy that summer at the 2000 Sydney Olympics—much to the chagrin of Frederic Weis.
Aaron Gordon and the Orlando Magic’s mascot – Stuff the Magic Dragon – combined for two all-time dunks in that aforementioned 2016 contest. First, Stuff the Magic Dragon spun in circles on a hoverboard while holding the ball out in the paint. The then-Magic forward timed his run perfectly as he grabbed the ball from the mascot in mid-air, spun around and slammed down a one-handed jam. Gordon also paid homage to Karl Malone by putting one of his hands behind his head. An impressive combination of creativity, difficulty and flashiness.
During the 1991 Slam Dunk Contest in Charlotte, North Carolina, the then-Boston Celtics guard took off from inside the paint and dunked over his head with his left hand. The catch? He covered his eyes with his right arm, thereby popularizing—if not inventing—the no-look dunk. Brown has since said that by putting his face in his elbow pit, he inspired the “Dab” dancing trend that took off 25 years later. Whether that’s the case is unclear. What’s easier to discern, though, is that Brown’s blind finish, which others have since imitated in the Slam Dunk Contest, was at once groundbreaking and vital to his eventual victory over Seattle SuperSonics slam artist Shawn Kemp.
First off, a shoutout to big men who do the dunk contest, because it’s tough to get creative at 7 feet tall. McGee used his height and length to his advantage, dunking two balls into two hoops side-by-side, one of which was off of a lob. This dunk will serve as a time capsule at some point, bringing us back to the short-lived days of the hoverboard fad before they started catching on fire. It’s still mind-boggling that Gordon was able to time the Magic’s mascot spinning on a hoverboard, then delivering a 360 windmill with the “mailman” showmanship. This one was a lot of people’s favorite from the legendary 2016 Slam Dunk Contest, but there was a different Gordon dunk that will appear at the top of this list.
2011: DeMar DeRozan’s Show Stopper: Blake Griffin’s homage to Vince Carter (and leap over a Kia) pushed him to the slam dunk title as a rookie in Los Angles, but DeMar DeRozan did his part to put on a show in his hometown. The best of the bunch: a reverse windmill jam, titled the “Show Stopper,” that earned a 50 from the judges for the Toronto Raptors wing. Dwight Howard is nothing if not a showman. At no point was that on greater display than during the 2009 Slam Dunk Contest in Phoenix, Arizona.